Japanese Artist Carves Two Ton Marble Map of Manhattan

by , 09/17/11

David Zwirner, Yutaka Sone, Little Manhattan, marble carving

Japanese artist Yutaka Sone has constructed quite possibly the heaviest, and surely most expensive, map of Manhattan. Carved from a block of white marble, “Little Manhattan (2007-09)” depicts the entire island and its connecting bridges. The gorgeous relief is part of an exhibition opening on September 20th at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea.

David Zwirner, Yutaka Sone, Little Manhattan, marble carving

Sone was originally trained as an architect. His obsession with landscape and detail evolved into art. He works closely with marble carvers in a Chinese factory to produce is gorgeous marble sculptures. Little Manhattan combines the ancient tradition and medium of marble carving with modern technology. Sone created the impeccable detail of each street, building, and park largely by using Google Earth technology.  Sone also used photographs and several helicopter rides over the city for reference.

The city rises up from the marble base, capping a giant cliff, as if one would plummet to their death should they try to leave Manhattan. A miniature Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Lower Manhattan with footprints of the World Trade Center are meticulously carved in the white marble slab. The incredible grid in which we live is shown in a new light.

The buyer of the piece will have quite the undertaking getting it home from the gallery. It measures at 21 ¾ by 104 3/8 inches and weighs a whopping two and a half tons!

Yutaka Sone “Islands” at David Zwirner Gallery runs from September 20 – October 29, 2011.

+ David Zwirner Gallery

Via Spoon Tamago



  1. zhanna sab December 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    it looks like an intricate iceberg
  2. lazyreader September 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    Very impressive, what no Brooklyn?